Relationships & Communication / Cyberbullying & Digital Drama / Media Balance & Wellbeing


  • Engage in positive, safe, legal, and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices (from the MITECS Digital Citizen Competency 2b).

Relationships & Communication/Cyberbullying & Digital DramaOnline communications and interactions can be more difficult than face-to-face. This is due to not receiving any visual cues or voice inflections to provide clues to the tone and nature of the communication. Another challenge is that the “polite” filter can go missing as some people forget the social rules for respectful behavior. This is especially true when people are online anonymously. This section explores the needs and challenges for developing in students the positive and professional skills to interact with others, and to deal with those who may use toxic behavior.

Relationship & Communication Overview and entry points into the toolkit.

Resources for Learning Questions for Reflection Tasks for Skill Development


  1. Relationships & Communication (lessons) Cyberbullying & Digital Drama (lessons) Media Balance & Wellbeing (lessons)
    These Common Sense Media documents and lessons provide a guide to common language.
  2. In 21Things4Students: Thing 14 - Social Networking and Thing 6 - Cyber Safety are important for how to navigate a world of familiar and unfamiliar strangers.
  3. Confronting Bullying:
    - Bullying Prevention: Students Share Dos and Don'ts
    - Student Fights Bullying with Positivity
    - Resources to Fight Bullying and Harassment at School
    - What Bullying Looks Like in the Digital Age and How to Prevent It
    - 5-Minute Film Festival: Preventing Bullying
  4. Articles on Balancing Screen Time
    - Screenagers Parent Resources 
    - Finally! The Game-Changer for Managing Screen Time
    - 9 secrets to managing your child’s screen time
    - Managing Screen Time


  1. What are the common threads for positive action between these three areas:
    Relationships & Communication,
    Cyberbullying & Digital Drama, and Media Balance & Wellbeing?
  2. So much of positive interaction with others in the faceless digital world is identical to when face-to-face with others. Based on the 21 Things resource, how would you describe 2-3 common practices that work in both digital and face-to-face?
  3. Based on these selected articles, what are three ways that individuals can confront bullying in constructive ways?

    Why do bullies feel empowered to behave badly?
  4. While there exist concerns for the amount of screen time students consume, what are the benefits that should not get lost in the effort to contain screen time?
    How should teachers communicate and work with parents?


  1. Explore at least two of the three areas for ideas and lessons. Identify two concepts and/or lessons you can use to support learners and colleagues.
  2. Reviewing the 21 Things resources along with those from Digital Footprints, you or students make a list for common practices for appropriate behavior.

    Explore how bullying can be confronted, contained, reduced.
  3. Review all the articles and choose two to conduct a reading discussion with staff or students. Consider using a protocol from SRI like Chalk Talk, Affinity Mapping, or Save the Last Word.

    Reflect on the discussion outcomes.
  4. After reading these articles, involve students in a discussion protocol such as the Harkness Discussion or Chalk Talk. Have students create their recommendations for managing screen time.



  • Relationships and Communication - Video version
  • Relationships & Communication
    View this helpful quick guide regarding relationships and communication.
  • Seven Easy Ways to get families on board with Digital Citizenship
    It takes a community to help students develop into responsible citizens. This resource gives guidance on how to involve parents in this shared task for meeting the needs of their children.
  • Evolution of Digital Citizenship 
    This reference from Macomb County offers helpful information that supports teacher research and planning to prepare a culture and lessons that promote positive practices in citizenship.
  • The New Digital Citizenship video 
    Here is a video overview by (ISTE) about Digital Agent, Digital Interactor, and Digital Self.
  • Michigan Attorney General Office: Safety Videos for K-12
    This site offers videos for different grade level spans on the topics related to this toolkit section.
  • Schoology Group code for Course Materials from Macomb 2020 Access Code 7GVVZ-8BMRM
  • Under resources, you will find a folder containing supports about “Responsible Use”. More topics may be forthcoming. Use this space to dialog about your interests and questions regarding Digital Citizenship. To access the group, use this visual guide.
  • Everfi - Ignition
    This free resource for teachers offers learning about various topics on cyber safety, including cyber bullying.
  • Talk Moves: Teach students how to have respectful conversations about academics and other topics.

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Sue Schwartz
Executive Director